The actual benefits of executives/CEO’s of large organisations (not 3 men in a shed CEO’s) adopting social media need to be thought of in reverse as the graphic below depicts.
This is because social media is firstly all about being social with people – being human, engaging, interesting, sharing ideas and experiences etc. So the greatest benefit for an executive being on social is that their staff see that they are human, they are taking part in the 21st Century approach to the market. As one employee commented to us about a social CEO in another large corporation when comparing them with their aloof CEO “at least we know he has a dog”. Taking the odd photo to show the human interest side of an executive (it could be sport, charity, travel etc but no “look at me boasting”) makes the executive more human and therefore more trustable. The big boss, liking an employee’s tweet or even sharing it or commenting on it in public is like winning the employee of the month award – very easy to do if an executive is set up right on social and forms a 15 minute habit. Also, as an organisation, if you want social media adoption (sharing, collaboration, supportive behaviour, brand ambassadors) then having the boss take the lead is the biggest motivator and adoption trigger in the book.
Secondly it’s about supplier and the wider eco-system seeing that the executives of the company are “with it”, out in the market place, sharing information on the industry which shows they are a leader in the industry, they are human/connected with their staff and therefore probably “nice people to do business with” . Executives we have coached are looking at the market if they embrace social media see the amount of opportunity to partner, connect better, recruit, even buy companies is massively opened up by taking a social route.
Thirdly its customers, which most executives of course focus on first, taking the marketing advised route of retweeting the standard content produced or product focused push marketing. Do we really think this is going to work? – we call it social SPAM. By mixing the human and employee content with a balance of content from the organisation – ensures its not a product only stream and the firms messages have more chance of resonating.
Finally, shareholders – normally the main focus of boards and executives. If the executives do the above 3 well then the shareholders will benefit as the leaders would have demonstrated through their motivated staff and to the market through increased market share driven through trustability and humanness, that they are embracing the 21st Century approach to commerce.
If you need help convincing a board of this reverse thinking or help coaching executives change their mindsets, do get in touch with me or Thomas Power.